England opener Alastair Cook seems to be impressed with the 'variety' and the 'depth' in the Indian bowling unit ahead of the upcoming five-Test series between the top two sides.
The former captain pointed out that touring Indian sides over the last 10 years did not have the variety that Virat Kohli-led team's pace attack possesses. However, Cook insisted he will wait and watch how the visiting bowlers perform over the next six weeks in what is touted to be an exciting Test series.
"India seem to have got a good variety of bowlers, especially pace bowlers, which is probably unusual. They have strength in depth in their pace bowling," Cook said, as quoted by the Press Trust of India.
"Over the last couple of years - certainly in the last 10 years I've played them - they haven't had the option of playing five or six different types of seamers. That's different to what I have experienced in the past but we'll see over the next six weeks."
Depth and variety in the pace attack
It is safe to say Kohli has focussed a lot on improving the pace battery of the Indian cricket team ever since he took over from MS Dhoni as the captain in the longest format of the game. The 29-year-old skipper has backed his pace bowlers and has reaped the results.
Unlike the last few years, Indian bowlers now are capable of picking up 20 wickets in overseas conditions. The performances in South Africa where Kohli's men managed to bowl out the hosts in all three Tests is a testament to the marked improvement in the Indian pace attack.
Kohli's men will be missing Jasprit Bumrah for the first Test and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the first three Tests. Despite the absence of two of the lethal all-format bowlers, the tourists have a lot of firepower in their bowling attack.
Umesh Yadav is fitter than ever and can trouble batsmen with his pace while Ishant Sharma, after a solid county stint, is all set to lead the attack. Mohammed Shami returns after passing the yo-yo test, which he failed last month while Shardul Thakur is a solid backup option for the visitors.
In Hardik Pandya, Kohli has a more-than-decent fast-bowling all-rounder, which visiting teams in the past lacked.
Cook backs Pujara, Dhawan to overcome poor form
Nonetheless, the focus ahead of the much-anticipated Test series is more on the Indian top-order, which has failed to impress so far in the Old Blighty.
The poor batting form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom failed to get going in the only warm-up match against Essex last week, is a cause for concern for India.
However, Cook backs the two Indian batsmen, quoting the cliched cricketing phrase: "form is temporary".
"With very good players, form is certainly temporary. The reason they're very good players is the number of runs they've scored in the past over a sustained period of time," Cook added.
"That's why they're the number one side in the world. You can go a couple of innings not scoring any runs, and suddenly you get a couple away and start to get that rhythm and timing back, and you get a big one. That is the nature of the beast, certainly with top-order batting."